The Xbox Series S is a great entry point into new-gen gaming for those who have no qualms about buying games digitally or subscribing to Xbox Game Pass. microsoft xbox series It’s a great option if you want to avoid the sizable financial outlay required to own a full-blown new-gen console, but there are some drawbacks. It has significantly less storage, prioritizes 1440p resolution for gaming, and does without the 4K HD Blu-Ray drive of the Xbox Series X.
- +The smallest Xbox ever made
- +Compact design, powerful specs
- +Completely silent in operation
- +Faster load times
- -Targets 1440p resolution when gaming
- -512GB SSD fills up fast
- -No disc drive
- -UI can be overwhelming at first
The Xbox Series S is a new-gen console that takes a radically different approach to the Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s flagship model. It’s designed to offer the same generational leap as Microsoft’s more powerful system, such as high frame rates, ray tracing, and super-fast load times, but at a considerably lower price. Inevitably, this means it has a few notable compromises.
Despite being a digital-only console, the Xbox Series S has significantly less storage than the and primarily targets a 1440p resolution instead of 4K for gaming. It’ll upscale to 4K when connected to an Ultra HD display, and a handful of titles are capable of running at a native 4K resolution, like Ori and the Will of the Wisps. However, the console is primarily designed to run games at a lower resolution, first and foremost.
Microsoft’s more affordable Xbox also does away with the 4K HD Blu-Ray drive of the Xbox Series X, which means it’s a digital-only affair. If you’ve amassed a large library of physical games over the years, this alone could be a deal-breaker, and means you’re at the mercy of Microsoft’s store pricing when it comes to buying new titles.
Each one impressed us, with smoother frame rates, increased resolutions (when compared to, and, and faster load times, even if the games didn’t look quite as pretty as they did running on the Xbox Series X. But that’s mostly due to Xbox Series S targeting a lower resolution.
That said, for gamers who have no qualms about buying games digitally, or subscribing to you’re getting the full suite of next-gen features on Microsoft’s cheaper console: Quick Resume, Auto HDR, 120Hz, you name it. The Xbox Series S is a great option for those wanting to experience new-gen gaming, without the sizable financial outlay required to own a full-blown console.
As we’ve alluded to already, there are drawbacks to consider. If you prefer to purchase games physically, or have amassed a large collection of Xbox One games over the years, the Xbox Series S’s lack of disc drive may put you off.
You only get a 512GB SSD, too, as there’s no higher-capacity option. And while the console’s SSD is dramatically faster than the old mechanical drives in theand Xbox One S, it can fill up fast. The five games we mentioned above almost took up the entire 512GB SSD on our review unit (you only get 364GB of usable space), leaving us with just 30GB of storage to play with.
What may deter people from buying Microsoft’s more affordable Xbox is the fact that outputs at 1440p for gaming. This lower resolution is a firm favourite in the PC gaming space due to the superior image quality it provides over 1080p, and the lower amount of graphical grunt it requires from developers to achieve. This has allowed Microsoft to create a lower-spec machine that still boasts next-gen features.
Looking at the system internals, the Xbox Series S separates itself from the One X with its vastly more powerful CPU and more technically capable GPU, courtesy of AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture which enables cutting-edge features like ray tracing. Yes, the Series S has fewer teraflops than the Xbox One X (four compared to six), but teraflops are no longer the defining factor in how GPU power is determined.
For Xbox One owners looking to upgrade without breaking the bank, the Xbox Series S is a great option, if you can accept what it’s been designed to achieve.microsoft xbox series If you’ve already got the Xbox One X and a 4K display at home, however, we suggest considering the Xbox Series X instead. Read on for our full Xbox Series S review.